Are you looking to set up your business in the trucking industry? If so, starting a car hauling business could be your best bet. Read this guide to learn everything it takes to start your vehicle hauling business and become your own boss. From how to acquire legal permissions to launching an official auto shipping website, we have got you covered!

1. Do Market Research and Develop a Business Plan

When starting a car hauling business, it's crucial to develop a solid business plan beforehand. The auto shipping industry offers numerous niches, and to succeed, you need to identify and start with the one that best aligns with your goals.

Begin by preparing a checklist of the objectives you want to complete. Additionally, note potential challenges and strategize how to navigate them. Finally, don’t forget to outline your budget, as it will guide the launch of your hauling setup.

2. Obtain Legal Authorization to Establish Your Transport Business

No matter what business you start, obtaining legal authorization is essential. For your auto hauling business, you'll need to secure the following documents:

Apply for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

To drive a hauling trailer, obtaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is essential. Make sure to apply for the right type of license for your intended load. For example, if you plan to haul cars, apply for a license specific to that niche. A CDL demonstrates that you are a reliable and responsible hauler with the necessary skills.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for a Commercial Driver's License:

  • Start by applying for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), which allows you to practice driving commercial vehicles under supervision.
  • Once you have a CLP for at least 14 days, you can start applying for CDL.
  • You should determine the specific type of CDL you need based on the vehicles you plan to drive and the loads you'll haul.
  • With your Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP), schedule an appointment to take the skills test, which includes a written test and a driving test. As soon as you pass these tests, you will receive your CDL.

Register Your Car Hauling Company

To register your car hauling company, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the official website for business registration in your state.
  • Provide essential information such as your company name, business location, and entity type (e.g., LLC, Sole Proprietorship, Corporation, Partnership).
  • Complete the form and submit it along with any required fees.

Once your business is registered, you will be directed to the IRS website to obtain your Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN is crucial for tax purposes and will also let you open a business bank account.

File UCR Registration

The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) is a federally appointed system that oversees companies operating in interstate travel. This regulatory authority requires an annual fee based on the number of vehicles you have. To register, visit the UCR's official website and pay the initial fees to complete the registration process.

Obtain a USDOT Number

To obtain a DOT number for your commercial vehicle, you need to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation. This DOT number serves as a unique identifier for your company.

You can apply for it by visiting the FMCSA website, navigating to the registration section, and following the instructions provided.

Apply for a Motor Carrier Number

The FMCSA provides MC numbers, which serve as unique identifiers for your trucking authority. To obtain an MC number, visit the FMCSA website and complete the application process, which includes a $300 fee. However, keep in mind that you must have your DOT number before you can apply for an MC number.

Secure Licenses for Interstate Travel

The International Registration Plan (IRP) is essential for commercial vehicles engaged in interstate operations. Through IRP, you must remit specified fees to every state your truck operates in, calculated based on the percentage of miles driven in each state.

To initiate your IRP, visit the website of your local government's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Acquire BOC-3 Process Agents

Federal law mandates the designation of a BOC-3 processing agent in each state where you plan to conduct business. An individual can only be named as an agent in one state.

This process agent is legally authorized to accept legal documents on behalf of your business in the specified state. You can submit your BOC-3 processing agent forms on the official website.

3. Purchase Commercial Auto Insurance

Before legally establishing your hauling business, securing insurance is essential. This protects both you and your clients from any unintentional harm that may occur during transit.

Make sure to carefully consider the amount of insurance coverage you obtain. As a car hauler handling high-value loads, you need insurance that thoroughly covers the vehicles in case of unforeseen events.

4. Acquire Necessary Equipment

Now that you have obtained all your licenses, it's time to purchase the necessary equipment to start your hauling business. Most car haulers need two essential equipment these are:

Open Vehicle Haulers

Open vehicle haulers are trailers specifically designed to transport multiple cars simultaneously. These trailers are typically open-air, lacking sides or a roof. While they are more common and cost-effective, they do expose vehicles to external elements.

Enclosed Vehicle Haulers

Enclosed vehicle haulers offer enhanced protection for vehicles during transit. Unlike open-air trailers, these haulers feature walls and a roof, providing a shield against damage. They are particularly favored for transporting high-value or classic cars due to their superior protection against external elements.

5. Establish an Online Presence with a Company Website

In today's digital age, establishing a robust online presence is important for the success of your car hauling business. To have your auto hauling website reach its audience:

  • Invest in a professionally designed website. Ensure the site layout is easy to navigate and responsive on smartphones.
  • Craft your site using engaging content that showcases your car hauling services, expertise, and distinguishing features.
  • Provide multiple contact options so your audience can easily reach out to you. Mention your phone number, email address, and contact form to make contacting you effortless.

Nexus Auto Transport: One Stop Solution For Hauling Cars

Starting a car hauling business requires careful planning and attention to detail. However, if you're not quite ready to tackle this venture, you can always rely on professional auto shipping companies.

Nexus Auto Transport is among the most reliable car haulers. It offers comprehensive vehicle transportation services tailored to your needs. Whether you're transporting standard vehicles or high-value classics, Nexus Auto Transport ensures safe and reliable delivery every time.

Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide or to get a quote for shipping your vehicle by visiting our website!